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Dolphin Photo ID

Using dorsal fin photos, our community science dolphin ID program identifies coastal bottlenose dolphins spotted during whale watches.

Woman taking photograph, dolphin coming out of water, and analysis of an image

The Aquarium partners with local researchers to help in their project to identify coastal bottlenose dolphins. These are bottlenose that do not venture more than one to two miles offshore and are considered a subpopulation from offshore bottlenose dolphins. Utilizing the sighting photos taken during whale watches with Harbor Breeze Cruises, our community science volunteers crop the photos to show only their dorsal fin and then must work through the extensive ID catalog provided by the National Marine Fisheries Service to find a match.

The matches made by our community science volunteers can be used to monitor the movements and sightings of the coastal bottlenose up and down the coastline and give researchers insight into population counts and dynamics, as well as feeding and migratory ranges.